Information is admittedly obscured
The Times of London published an IDP death rate of 1,400 per week, or about 200 a day. This was sourced to ‘senior international aid sources’. Which is nonsense journalism, like their 20,000 body count based on a few photos from a helicopter. Not that the government is forthcoming enough, but people will actually answer questions if you’re not a dick about it. I checked with actual sources and that number is completely made-up. The WHO and NGOs have already been briefed with a different set of numbers from the Ministry Of Health, coming from doctors in the field. For any journalist with some basic contacts, this information is not hard to find. The real number of deaths is something like 5-6 per day.
The highest I saw (since May) was 17. So, not 200. Perhaps these numbers are lies, I dunno, but they’re documented and it still holds up better than conjecture from an anonymous source. These are numbers from the Ministry Of Health, presented to the WHO and NGOs. I can’t release the source document cause I just saw it on a computer but I’m told they’re issuing a press release soon. Again, these numbers could be wrong, but they’re at least somehow connected to reality rather than conjecture.
The death rate is still higher than Sri Lanka as a whole and the conditions still suck. I still firmly believe that people who have family should be allowed to leave and that others should be given a choice. However, making up very serious numbers doesn’t help anyone. It riles up some hardline diaspora elements, but it’s fundamentally a political missive, not a journalistic one.
Too many people are dying in the camps, but it’s certainly not 200 a day. What I hear and have seen is more like 5-6. I learned this from walking down the street to ask the Ministry of Health. I’ve also called people in Vavuniya and they report nothing near 200. I’m no journalist, but this basic verification of facts seems important. I say this not to trivialize the issue or say that there is not an issue. There is. I say it to simply call for basic documentation and accuracy, or at least respectable lies. Times Of London. Put down the placard. Pick up the phone.